Sunday, May 26, 2013

Houston Baptist baseball takes Great West Conference tournament crown

Photo by Larry Levanti-NJIT Athletic Department
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2013 TexSport Publications

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (May 26, 2013) In their final competition in the Great West Conference, the No. 3 Houston Baptist Huskies downed No. 1 Northern Colorado Bears by the score of 13-3 to capture their first-ever conference tournament.

The Huskies swept through the tournament, winning four straight games to claim the title in their swan-song of the conference.

Beginning in the 2013-14 season, HBU will move to the Southland Conference and compete against in-state opponents Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Lamar University in addition to teams from Oklahoma and Louisiana.

In the GWC tournament held at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark, New Jersey on May 21-25, 2013, the Huskies downed No. 6 NJIT by the score of 11-6 to advance to the second round.

There, they quickly dispatched in-state opponent No. 2 UT-Pan American, 3-1.

In the third round, HBU faced No. 5 North Dakota and soundly sent them packing by the score of 8-4.

With their three wins, the Huskies advanced to the championship game against No. 1 Northern Colorado Bears.

The Bears had previously dropped an 11-3 decision to North Dakota earlier in the tournament, which put them on the bubble against HBU.

In a must-win game against the Huskies, the Bears could now overcome the bats of their Texas opponents, dropping the game 13-3 to give HBU the title.

The Huskies scored seven runs in the first inning and added insult to injury with two addition runs in each of the third, seventh, and innings to upset the 2013 conference regular season champion.

HBU had five players named to the all-tournament team, including the tournament’s most valuable player.

Senior outfielder Luke Clements was honored at the tournament’s MVP and joined on the elite squad by teammates Tyler Hoelscher, CJ Jarvis, Curtis Jones and Jake Gonzalez.

Also named to the all-tournament team were Chicago State's Andrew Wellwerts and Mattingly Romanin, NJIT's Tom Bouck, North Dakota's Jeff Campbell and Jacob Threlkeld, Northern Colorado's Nick Miller, Jensen Park and Jake Johnson, and Texas-Pan American's Dusten Knight.

The Huskies will now begin to prepare, not only in baseball, but all sports, to compete in the Southland Conference in fall, 2013.

HBU will be fielding their first-ever football team in 2013, playing a seven-game exhibition schedule before competing as a full football member of their new conference in 2014.

All other HBU sports will compete and contend for titles in the Southland Conference beginning later this year.

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